A-100 Patch Examples
(still under construction, additional patches will follow)

We hope that the following patch examples will help for a better understanding of your A-100 system and stimulate you to search for new unusual patches.

Classical Standard Synth with 3 VCOs built into an A-100LC1

This is an example for a classical standard synth with 3 VCOs built into an A-100LC1 case. It contains a midi interface (A-190-3), three VCOs (A-111-3), a noise/random/S&H source (A-118-2), a (switched) mixer (A-138i), a VCF(A-121-3), a dual VCA (A.130-2), a dual envelope generator (A-140-2) and a quad LFO (A-145-4). The sawtooth outputs of the VCOs (A-111-3) and the noise output (A-118-2) are patched into the 4 inputs of the interrupting mixer (A-138i). The levels of the signals can be adjusted by means of the level controls and turned on/off with the corresponding switches. The output of the mixer is processed by a VCF (A-121-3) and VCA (1/2 A-130-2). Both VCF and VCA have their own envelope generator (A-140-2). The quad LFO (A-145-4) can be used for additional modulations (e.g. for FM or PWM of the VCOs, frequency modulation of the VCF, time modulation of the envelopes, loudness modulation of the VCAs) or triggering the S&H of the A-118-2 to obtain stepped random voltages for modulations (e.g. VCF filter frequency). One can play around e.g. with different VCO waveforms (sawtooth, rectangle, triangle), different filter types (lowpass, highpass, bandpass, notch) and filter resonance, different flavors of the noise signal and different settings of the parameters A,D,S and R of the envelope generators, and different modulation frequencies of the LFOs. The second VCA can be used e.g. for velocity (CV V/V has to be patched into the CV input of the second VCA) or additional loudness modulation by means of an LFO or controlling the deepness of a modulation signal by means of a control voltage (e.g. CV Ctr. from the midi interface).
The signals CV and Gate are generated in this patch by the midi interface A-190-3. CV is internally wired to the VCOs (CV note), gate to the envelope generators (A-140-2). For this the jumpers for the bus access of these modules have to be installed accordingly!

Basic Patch A-100 System

This is a basic patch for the A-100 miniature system (A-100BSM) and can be used as a starting point for other patches. The patch forms a classical synthesizer voice: Two VCOs (A-110-1), the colored noise output of the noise module (A-118) and the lower ring modulator output (A-114) are mixed together in the mixer module (A-138). The output of the mixer module is processed by the VCF (A-120) and VCA (A-131). The envelope outputs of the ADSR (A-140-1) are used to control both the filter frequency and loudness. The triangle output of the LFO (A-145-1) is used to control the pulsewidth of the second VCO. Therefore the rectangle output of the second VCO is used. The sine outputs of both VCOs are the inputs of the ring modulator (A-114).
Module A-190-4 is used as Midi interface to control the A-100 modules via Midi. It is not necessary to patch CV and Gate at the front side from A-190-4 to A-110-1/A-140-1 as these signals are available at the internal A-100 bus. The Midi interface (A-190-4) "sends" CV and Gate to the bus and the VCOs (A-110-1) and ADSR (A-140-1) "pick up" CV and Gate from the bus - provided that the corresponding jumpers are installed on all modules in question. For details please refer to the user manuals of the modules A-190-4, A-110-1 and A-140-1, as well as the general information about the bus signals CV and gate:

Try these modifications and additions:

  • Other usage of the LFO (e.g. controlling the pitch of a VCO or the frequency of the VCF or the loudness of the VCA or to trigger the ADSR)
  • Use the output of a VCO to modulate the frequency of the second VCO (FM sounds)
  • Use the output of a VCO to modulate the frequency of the VCF (FM sounds)
  • Use the output of a VCO to modulate the loudness of the VCA (FM sounds)
  • Use the output of the ADSR to control the pitch or Pulsewidth of a VCO
  • Use the random output of the noise module to control other parameters (e.g. VCO pitch, VCO pulsewidth, VCF frequency, VCA loudness)
  • Use the second audio input of the VCA for a audio signal that is not processed by the VCF (e.g. connecting a VCO or noise or ring modulator directly to the VCA)
  • Use the VCA before the VCFand mixer, in this case the VCF is used as the last module in the audio chain and the VCA can be used e.g. to process one of the VCOs or noise or ring modulator before the signal is added to the mixer

All modules can be replaced by other modules with similar functions

On the module overview page you find a list of all available A-100 modules.

For some of these recommendations it's necessary to add another A-100 housing. That's why we recommend to use larger housings from the beginning (i.e. to reserve free space for additional modules).

Minimal Patch

This is a minimal patch to understand the absolute basic function of an analog synthesizer. The audio output of the VCO (saw output of an A-110-2 in this example) is followed by a VCA (A-130 in this example). The VCA is controlled by an envelope signal that is generated by an ADSR generator (A-140 in this example). The pitch of the VCO is controlled by the CV output of an USB/Midi-to-CV interface (A-190-3 in this example). The gate signal for the ADSR is also generated by the interface module. The patch can be expanded by a VCF that is inserted between the VCO an the VCA and the filter frequency can be controlled manually and/or by the second output of the ADSR. One can play around with different control settings, other waveform outputs of the VCO. The patch works also with other VCOs, other VCAs, other envelope generators and other CV interfaces. The modules shown in this patch are just deputies for the functions VCO, VCA, Envelope generator and USB/Midi-to-CV interface.


Random Melody

This patch creates an automaticially random melody. The sound source is a VCO (A-110) that is processed by a VCF (A-108 in this example but each VCF or VCA will work). The quantized random control voltage for the VCO is generated by the A-118 random output that is processed by one of the A-129/3 Attenuator/Offset Generator and the lower section of the A-156 Quantizer. The rate of change is controlled by the Rate control of the A-118. The basic tone/note is adjusted by the offset control of the A-129/3 and the spread (distance between high and low notes) by the attenuator control of the A-129/3. The setting of the three switches of the A-156 define the type of the random melody (all semitones, only minor or major scale, only tones from chords and so on). The trigger output of the A-156 is used to trigger the A-140 envelope generator for the filter. It is possible to synchronize the patch e.g. with a sequencer. For this the trigger input of the A-156 has to connected to the main clock source.

Sequenced Wavetables

In this patch the two potentiometer rows of the A-155 sequencer are used to control the pitch (upper row) and the momentary wavetable (lower low) of an A-112 Sampler/Wavetable Oscillator. And this is how it works:
The rectangle output of the A-145 LFO generates the Clock for the A-155 sequencer (any other clock source will work as well) . The A-155 CV output of the upper potentiometer row is connected to the pitch CV input of the A-112. The A-155 CV output of the lower potentiometer row is connected to the CV input of the A-112 that is used to address the wavetable. The A-112 has to be in the wavetable play mode (the picture above does not show the correct settings of the three switches, the upper switch has to be in the S1 or S2 position, the middle in the Play position, the lower in the Wav Position). The Gate-Input has to be connected to as positive signal (e.g. an unused output of an A-165 or A-176) so that the A-112 is permanently triggered (not shown). The audio output of the sampler is processed by a filter (the A-124 Wasp filter in this example, but any other VCF or VCA will work too). The envelope for the VCF is generated by a A-142 Voltage Controlled Decay (any other envelope generator will work too). The trigger for the A-142 comes from the upper Trigger section of the A-155. The Decay is modulated with the Gate row of the A-155 so that shorter or longer longer decays can be controlled with the gate switches. It is not necessary to load the A-112 sampler with wavetables. One obtains very interesting sounds even with a normal sample (e.g. a recorded human voice) that is chopped by the A-112 in the wavetable mode. For each step of the sequence another section of the sample (defined by the lower sequencer row) is cutted out and looped. With the scaling control the spread of the addressed wavetables can be limited. The patch can be expanded e.g. by an A-129/3 to define the position (offset) and spread (attenuation) of the wavetables.

Toggling Sample&Holds

This patch was inspired by the Buchla 266 Source of Uncertainty (SOU). It shows how the sample&hold function of the 266 can be emulated with A-100 modules. And this is how it works:
The incoming trigger signal (rectangle output of an A-145 LFO in this example) is divided by the A-160 clock divider. The /2 output is used to trigger the upper section of the A-148 S&H. The /2 output is inverted by the A-165 trigger modifier and the inverted signal triggers the lower S&H. For both inputs the same voltage source  is used (random output of an A-118 in this example). At the two S&H outputs of the A-148  the random voltage of the A-118 is "stored" alternately. This is the same function as the alternating S&H outputs of the Buchla 266 (the normal CV out of the 266 works as a normal, non-alternating S&H). Even the alternating pulse outputs of the 266 are available (i.e. the /2 output of the A-160 and the inverted output of the A-165). Of course another trigger source (instead of the A-145) and/or another voltage source (instead of the A-118) is possible. We think about a module that integrates all functions of this patch within one unit - provided that there are sufficient inquiries for such a module. 

Additional "emulations" of the Buchla 265/266 Source of Uncertainty (SOU) will follow soon. The integrator section of the 266 is nothing but the Voltage Controlled Slew Limiter A-171. Only the "Quantized Random Voltages with 2n and n+1 states" and the "Stored Random Voltages with adjustable probability distribution" could be emulated with already existing A-100 modules (as of December 2003). This is why the A-149-1 Quantized/Stored Random Voltages was developed.

New: The toggling S&H function can be realized much easier with the new module A-152 Voltage/Clock addressed Switches/S&H (available ~ summer 2004).

Fluctuating Random Voltages

This is another patch inspired by the Buchla 266 Source of Uncertainty (SOU). It shows how the "Fluctuating Random Voltages" of the 266 can be emulated with A-100 modules. And this is how it works:
The random output of the A-118 Noise/Random source is used to modulate the frequency of the A-147 Voltage Controlled LFO. The basic frequency of the A-147 (i.e. without CV coming from the A-118) has to be about 100Hz to emulate the Buchla 266. The triangle output of the A-147 becomes more or less "noisy" as the random voltage modulates the frequency. Use short random rates (Rate control of the A-118 in the left area). The "noisy triangle" is fed into the lower section of the A-148 Dual S&H. The S&H is triggered by the rectangle output of a second A-147. The output of the S&H is smoothed by the A-171 Voltage Controlled Slew Limiter. In the Buchla 266 the trigger sampling frequency and the slew time are controlled by only one knob. This is why the A-176 is used to generate one common voltage to control both the second A-147 and the A-171 simultaneously. If the simultaneous control of both functions is not necessary the A-176 can be omitted and both the second A-147 and the A-171 can be replaced by a "normal" A-145 LFO resp. a "normal" A-170 slew limiter (upper section). Another modification - if no A-147 is available - is to mix the triangle output of a normal A-145 LFO with the random voltage of the A-118 and to use this mixed signal as S&H input. But in this case an additional A-138 mixer is required.
The advantage - or disadvantage (depends upon your point of view) - of this patch compared to the original 266 is that one has more controls available than the 266. The disadvantage is that you need six modules. We think about a module that integrates all functions of this patch within one unit - provided that there are sufficient inquiries for such a module.
We may develop a separate module (A-149-3 ?) for the "Fluctuating Random Voltages" if there is sufficient need for such a module. In the meantime the above patch will solve the problem.

Chaos Patch

Chaotic patch based on the so-called logistic equation Xn+1 = k*(X- Xn2) with k = 3.57 ....4.00. The Xn2  term is realized with the first VCA (A-130) by feeding both the CV and signal input with the same signal coming from the S&H output (A-148). The subtraction is made with the voltage inverter (A-175). The S&H is used to sample the last voltage Xn that is used to create the new voltage Xn+1. It is triggered by a voltage controlled LFO (A-147) that determines the rate of the system (controlled by the external Rate CV). The second VCA is used in combination with the A-136 to create the factor k (3.57 ... 4). As the max. amplification if ~1 for the VCA an additional amplifier has to be used (A-136 with a fixed amplification  ~ 4). Even a modified VCA (with modified max. amplification >4) or a VC polarizer (with modified max. amplification >4) could be used. The graphs below show the results for 3 different settings of k.

(attention: so far the patch is theory only, i.e. we did not yet try this patch, comments are welcome to hardware@doepfer.de)

In the meantime the patch has been testet sucessfully by one of our customers. We want to thank Willi Sauter for these additional comments (so far in German languge only):

Chaos Patch, Praxis:
Bevor man das Patch nachvollzieht muss folgendes beachtet werden: Man benötigt einen Verstärker der mindestens x 4 verstärkt. Ich habe einen lin. Mixer (anstatt des A 136) dafür modifiziert. Wie das geht steht in den DIY Seiten. Man kann einen der 100 k Eingangswiderstände (R 1-4) mit einem 22 k Widerstand überbrücken, dann erhält man eine Spannungsverstärkungsfaktor von fast x 5, das reicht. Die beiden VCA´s müssen auf Entkoppelungskondensatoren überprüft werden. Die neueren Modelle der 130iger VCA mit dem Platinenaufdruck „V3 2005“ können so benutzt werden. Falls man noch ältere Modelle hat ist der Kondensator C 1 mit einem Draht zu überbrücken (die anderen C´s in Umgebung des Bussteckers bitte nicht antasten!). Nun kann es losgehen. Als Chaos CV benötigt man eine Spannung die sich im Bereich um 3 – 5 Volt regeln lässt, z.B. von einem Sequenzer oder ein A-176 (Manual CV Source).
Wenn man das Patch gesteckt hat ist eine gute Ausgangsposition der Regler etwa um 1 Uhr. Die Einstellung des 1. VCA ist unproblematisch. Besonders interessant ist die Chaos CV Spannung und der Verstärkungsfaktor des Mixers. Die drei Einstellungen des 2. VCA haben auch größeren Einfluss auf das Ergebnis. Also bitte nicht gleich aufgeben falls das Patch nicht sofort funktioniert. 

Die Logistische Gleichung ist eine Funktion. Das jeweilige Ergebnis der Funktion wird wieder zur Neuberechung eingesetzt. Sie ist also rückgekoppelt. Diese Rückkoppelung wird über das S/H und den LFO kontrolliert gesteuert. Das Patch liefert kurze oder lange Pattern, die sich unendlich wiederholen oder plötzlich ausbrechen können. Es gibt auch Bereich die unvorhersagbar werden, was man dann chaotisch nennt. Kleinste Veränderungen an einem Regler können drastische Änderung hervorrufen (Schmetterlingseffekt). Das besondere Kennzeichen dieser Gleichung ist die Selbstähnlichkeit der chaotischen Muster und daher musikalisch interessant.
Tipp: 2 VCO die über Kreuz gekoppelt werden erzeugen in bestimmten Bereichen Wellenformen die sich laufend ändern, dies ist eine Variation des hier beschriebenen Phänomens.
Literatur: z.B. James Gleick „Chaos Die Ordnung des Universums“

Chopped Vocoder

Vocoder with triggered vocal freezing, coming soon .....


If you want to create your own patch examples you could use the A-100 Corel Draw file we have available on our web site. This file contains all A-100 front panels and all you need to create your own patches is Corel Draw (V7 or higher) that is available for a few bugs. You could arrange all front panels at the desired positions (use the "magnetic grid function") and draw in the patch leads. We will be happy to publish your patch at this place (please send us the corresponding Corel Draw file or the pixel file with 440 pixels in height and some explaining words). If you do not have available Corel Draw you could also use the pixel files of the A-100 front panels on our web site to create your own patches (e.g. the pictures in the A-100 module descriptions) with any pixel program (e.g. Photoshop, Paint Shop, Coral Paint). Simply position the mouse above the desired picture and use the right mouse button to save the picture to your computer.